A week before the celebration of the Feast of the First Filipino Martyr, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara presided over the blessing of the new retablo and altar of San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel (SLRC) of Sto. Niño de Taguig Parish (SNDTP) on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, which was a dream come true for all the mass-goers in the chapel.
In his homily, Bishop Vergara correlated the life and death of St. Lorenzo to the Gospel about Jesus Christ setting a child as an example to his disciples.
He said what Jesus emphasized, “Whosoever shall receive one such child as this in My name, received Me. And whosoever shall receive Me, received not Me, but Him that sent Me.” (Mark 9:37)
Bishop Vergara said we all need to humble ourselves like a child in His presence and to understand that Christ laid His life for all of us to redeem us from eternal death.
“Dapat nating makita kung sino ang pinakadakila. Gusto Niyang ipakita na ang pag-ibig na inialay ng Diyos ay ang kaligtasan natin sa krus. Handa ba tayong magsakripisyo para kay Hesus?” he asked.
St. Lorenzo’s feast to remember his sacrifice
“Bilang paghahanda sa kapistahan ni San Lorenzo, naitutuon tayo sa aral ng kanyang sakripisyo. Ang sabi ni San Lorenzo noon, ‘May isang libong buhay man ako ay ibibigay ko para sa Panginoon,’” the bishop said.
However, he said that actually, doing what St. Lorenzo did is not really easy and in order to follow Christ, one needs to learn the value of sacrifice.
“Mahirap magpakabanal at sundin ang gabay ni Kristo. Kung gusto mong sumunod sa Diyos, handa ka dapat tumulad sa Kanya. Sa loob ng ating pamilya, hindi ba isang sakripisyo ang buhay may-asawa? At hindi ba, bukod pa rito ang ating sakripisyo bilang magulang at anak?” he said.
“Kaya nga, lagi nating alalahanin ang sinabi ng Diyos kay San Lorenzo, ‘Huwag matakot sa mga pasakit. Huwag matakot maglaan ng buhay,” he added.
The Bishop reminded everyone that God sees and acknowledges, even those small acts of sacrifices that we do as long as we offer them to glorify His Name. “Kahit munting sakripisyo, ano man ang ating pinagdaraanan sa buhay, basta i-aalay natin sa Kanya, magdudulot ng Kanyang awa.”
New retablo and altar
The beautiful new altar and retablo project was a dream come true for the SLRC community. A retablo is a decorative structure raised above an altar and forming the back of an altar.
To go back in its history, the SLRC can still be traced back to its early beginnings as the only chapel where people residing in Signal Village circa the late 80s up to the 90s attended mass. The small chapel was then the first church of the people prior to the construction of a bigger church – the SNDTP – at the parish’s present location.
Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Daniel Estacio, in his closing remarks, said the new retablo and altar project was a dream come true for the SLRC community since it was established three decades ago.
Fr. Estacio recalled that last year, the dream was formed and it was all because of the intention to give something back to the parishioners who supported the chapel throughout the years.
“Ito ay isang handog, lalong lalo na sa mga pledgers at mass goers ng San Lorenzo Chapel. Ngayong araw na ito, ang pangarap na iyon ay natupad na. Ito ay isang malaking biyaya na dapat nating ipagpasalamat.
Sabi nga nila, ‘Ang hindi lumingon sa kanyang pinanggalingan, ay hindi makakarating sa kanyang paroroonan. Kaya, sa araw na ito, tayo ay muling lumilingon sa ating pinagmulan,” he said.
“Sa Diyos na Siyang nagbibigay pagpapala sa atin at naghatid ng kagalakan sa lahat ng ating mga pagpupunyagi, maraming salamat po.”
Installation and renewal of vows of chapel servants
Moreover, in line with the celebration, the installation of new members of different organizations of the chapel and the renewal of vows of its existing members were also held, namely, SLRC Mini-Parish Pastoral Council, Family and Life Ministry, Basic Ecclesial Community, Evangelization and Lay Formation Ministry, Social Service Development Ministry, among others.
After the mass, an agape dinner was offered as thanksgiving with representatives from the City Government of Taguig distributing packed meals to the parishioners who attended the blessing and mass celebration. ###
Photo credit: Karl Albert Alojado | Sto. Niño de Taguig Parish Media Ministry and Rev. Fr. Daniel Estacio